Today Lifespan announced a new initiative to promote investigational science and evidenced-based quality improvement within the nursing field and increase the number of nurse-led research studies in Rhode Island.  Lifespan is providing up to $1M in funding for this nursing research initiative in 2021.

Lifespan will select a cohort of nurse researchers – from senior level to novice – to conduct their own sponsored research or work under the mentorship of designated Lifespan researchers.  Selected nurse-researchers will receive up to $50,000 per project, institutional assistance in designing their study and navigating the research process, and support for research time.

“Nurses are the heart of healthcare in the hospital, clinic or medical office—and an essential member of the overall healthcare team. As such, they bring a unique and valuable perspective to the practice of medicine and research,” said Lifespan President and CEO Timothy J. Babineau, MD. “I am excited to see the results of their research efforts.”

The nursing research initiative has four key areas of concentration:

  • HEALTH INNOVATION -- New ideas and inventions to help address the ever-changing needs and health challenges of Rhode Islanders.
  • POPULATION HEALTH -- Improving health outcomes of our region’s patient population, our families and our communities; reducing health disparities; and addressing acute and chronic illnesses.
  • PRECISION HEALTH -- Shifting our focus to more proactive and personalized care that empowers people and leads to healthier lives.
  • DATA SCIENCE -- Leveraging technology to create efficiencies and streamline healthcare processes.

Several individuals representing Lifespan’s leadership team provided their thoughts on what this initiative will mean for nursing, research, and our community:

“Outstanding patient care is derived from teams of highly skilled individuals working together and employing the latest evidence-based approaches to treatment and healing. Nurses play an integral role in that care and this initiative will promote the requisite research to enhance the knowledge and expertise that nurses contribute to these care teams,” said Kenneth Wood, DO, executive vice president and chief clinical officer for Lifespan.

“Lifespan takes great pride in, and invests in, the quality of nursing throughout our health system. We do this because we regard advancing the science of nursing as essential to the care and healing of our patients,” said Cathy Duquette, PhD, RN, executive vice president for quality and safety, and chief nursing executive for Lifespan. “This initiative will help our nurses -- and all nurses across Rhode Island -- advance our profession and enhance our mission through the cornerstone of all science – research.”

“Healthcare is transforming at a remarkable and unrelenting pace thanks to new technologies and other advancements. Nursing, too, must continue to evolve and progress and the best way to accomplish that is through best practices developed and backed up by rigorous scientific research. This initiative will help provide the financial support to make that vital research a reality in Rhode Island,” said Maria Ducharme, DNP, RN, NEA-BC, president of The Miriam Hospital.

“This initiative goes a long way toward recognizing the invaluable contribution that nurses can make toward medical research and could profoundly alter the misguided notion some have of who is and who is not a scientist,” said Lifespan Vice President of Research Michael Henderson.  

For more information on eligibility and how to apply, please email:

Richard Salit

Senior Public Relations Officer
The Miriam Hospital, Newport Hospital, Gateway Healthcare